Caring for pets is an enormous priority for most pet owners. As responsible pet owners, we all want to ensure their happiness even after our life ends. Many pet owners see their pets as family members and want to do everything in their power to ensure they live long and healthy lives, even when they can no longer care for them physically. Estate planning is not just for people and property but can also be utilized to ensure a happy transition for your beloved pets. Whether you have cats, dogs, reptiles, goats, or even more exotic pets, estate planning is the best way to know they will be cared for when you die.
Louisiana pet owners have many things to consider when considering their estate plans. It’s important to have a conversation with your friends or family members so that they will know what to do when the time comes, but you will also want to understand Louisiana estate law and how it will affect your pets. This article will explain how estate planning can alleviate some of the more common issues pet owners have when they die and will provide some alternatives that you may not have even considered when it comes to pet estate planning.
What is Estate Planning For Pets?
Including pets in estate plans have been common for quite some time and has been increasing in popularity for quite some time. One of the reasons for an increase is that more and more people are raising pets instead of children and want them to be happy and content when they pass away. It’s also more common to include pets in an estate plan because there have been numerous cases where family members have fought over pets, creating drama for many families. Creating a comprehensive estate plan for your pets allows you to make decisions regarding their future care that you normally would not be able to do. Verbal agreements will not hold up in court, and everything must be in writing to be valid in Louisiana.
Creating a plan for your pets in the event you become incapacitated and unable to care for them or your death is the only way to ensure that your wishes will be honored. You can address your pets’ care, their daily needs and specialized diets, future medical care, and ownership. Proper planning ensures that your pets are fully provided for and gives you peace of mind knowing that they will be happy and healthy when you die.
How Can I Ensure the Well-Being of My Pets After I Die?
Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to guarantee that your pets will be taken care of and that your final wishes for them are followed. For example, you can appoint a pet guardian in your estate plan. This individual should be someone you trust and know will care for your pets when you die. They will assume the responsibility of caring for your pets and have legal authority going forward. It’s important to discuss with your chosen pet guardian to ensure they are willing and able to do the job when the time comes. Pet owners can set aside funding for their pets’ needs, such as food, medical care, grooming, and entertainment. Owning pets can be expensive, and you want to make sure that your beloved pet does not become a burden to anyone.
What Legal Documents are Necessary for Estate Planning for Pets in Louisiana?
You can execute numerous legal documents to protect your pet once you die. For example, you can include instructions for your pets in your will and outline your wishes for property distribution and include items specially designated for your pet. You can also name your pet guardian in your will. You may also want to include a power of attorney so that another individual can take over for you if you become incapacitated and unable to care for your pets. A pet trust is another popular instrument that can fully outline your wishes regarding your pets and their future. Speaking with an estate planning attorney with experience drafting these important documents for pet owners is important.
Progeny Law Firm assists single parents with estate planning in Baton Rouge, LA. Call (225) 465-1090 or contact us online for a free consultation.
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